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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Monday, March 07, 2011
Emerging findings in neuroscience research suggest why inspiring and supportive relationships are important — they help activate openness to new ideas and a more social orientation to others.
If you believe that leadership involves inspiring others and motivating them to be their best and develop, learn, adapt and innovate, then activating the parts of their brain that will help requires that we: (1) be social; and (2) engage the person in positive, hopeful contemplation of a desired future. The latter might also be stimulated when discussing core values and the purpose of the organisation or project.
All too often, people in leadership positions begin conversations about the financials or metrics and dashboard measures of the desired performance. While important, this sequence confuses people and may result in them closing down cognitively, emotionally and perceptually.
If you want them to open their minds, you need to discuss the purpose of the activity (not merely the goals) and the vision of the organisation or clients if a desired future were to occur. THEN, you can lead a discussion about the financials, metrics and measures. But you have made it clear that the measures follow the purpose, they have not become the purpose.
Insights such as these may move the primacy of a leader’s actions away from the often proselytised “results-orientation” toward a relationship orientation.
Learn about this and other important findings in neuroscience that have the potential to tell us what we need to know to be good, even great leaders - http://www.iveybusinessjournal.com/neuroscience-and-leadership-the-promise-of-insights